Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative

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Governing Geoengineering Overview

The world faces the rising possibility of catastrophic temperature rise due to climate change. This could cause a massive increase in suffering, especially amongst the poor and most vulnerable.

Because of this threat, a growing number of scientists and academics are considering the use of geoengineering technologies, both as a way of reducing the causes of climate change (greenhouse gases) and its symptoms (high temperatures).

Geoengineering is defined as the proposed, large-scale intentional human intervention in the earth’s climate system to reduce the negative effects of climate change.

It includes two major families of technologies: carbon dioxide removal, to take CO2 out of the atmosphere, and solar radiation modification, to reflect more  sunlight back into space, or to allow more infrared radiation from Earth to escape.

Both aim to limit global temperature rise, and other potentially damaging effects of climate change, to reduce human suffering.

But each faces a complex mix of risks, costs and benefits, and may have different effects on different communities. If geoengineering is to be deployed in a way that minimizes risk, maximizes benefit, and is done so ethically for all people, it will need to be governed.

C2G2 was created to kickstart a global conversation about what that governance might look like. What technologies exactly need to be governed, and how? Who needs to be involved in taking these decisions? What rules and regulations are needed, both to limit the potential ill effects of geoengineering, and to increase the possibility that it will reduce suffering?

Until now these discussions have taken place primarily in academic and research communities. It is time to broaden the conversation to engage policy communities—the main reason for C2G2’s existence.

C2G2 also plans to expand the debate to developing countries, international institutions, faith and civil society groups, businesses and journalists, to people of all genders, from all ethnic, geographical and socio economic backgrounds.

We invite you to join us on this journey.


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